Thursday, August 3, 2017

THIS IS FROM THE LITURGY GUY!


This should lay to rest the idea that the 1962 Roman Missal is only as old as the conclusion of the Council of Trent and the Traditional Latin Mass, TLM, can include the revised New Order of Mass when celebrated in Latin.

Busting the Myth of the Tridentine Mass


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Far too often these days liturgical discussions pertaining to the Roman Rite start with the popular myth that the Traditional Latin Mass only dates back to the sixteenth century and the Council of Trent (1545-1563). While some make this claim simply due to a lack of catechesis, there are unfortunately others who perpetuate the myth to diminish the very antiquity of the ancient rite. Let us remedy this by busting the myth of the “Tridentine” Mass.
First a note on terminology. The Tridentine Mass is simply another name for the Traditional Latin Mass, also called the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite since Summorum Pontificum was issued by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.
Now for the history. Following the Council of Trent, Pope St. Pius V issued the papal Bull Quo Primum regarding the Mass. It is important to note that Pius V did not promulgate a new Mass (as Paul VI did in 1970), but rather consolidated and codified the Roman Rite already in existence. He also extended its use throughout the Latin Church, granting exception only to those rites demonstrating continuous usage of more than 200 years, such as the Ambrosian Rite found in Milan.
Since the 1570 Missal of Pius V was issued in the wake of the Council of Trent, the ancient rite has often been referred to as the Tridentine Mass. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this term, it can (and has) been used by some seeking to diminish the ancient rite by implying that it only dates back to 1570.
This, of course, is a myth.
Writing 50 years before the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the promulgation of the new Mass of Paul VI (1970),  Father Adrian Fortescue discussed the very antiquity of the Roman Rite in his classic, The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy (1912):
Essentially the Missal of St. Pius V is the Gregorian Sacramentary; that again is formed from the Gelasian book which depends on the Leonine collection. We find the prayers of our Canon in the treatise de Sacramentisand allusions to it in the IV century. So our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy, of the days when Caesar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God. The final result of our enquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of later changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours.
And this of course is the point. Not that the Mass didn’t develop organically, because it had. Nor that there were no further revisions to it, since the Missal of 1962 used in the Extraordinary Form today incorporates (as one example) the Holy Week revisions of 1955. But rather, that the Traditional Mass dates back to the oldest liturgy of all “without essential change”, to use Fr. Fortescue’s phrase. When referencing this Mass, we are speaking in terms of millennia, not centuries.
Indeed, some have referred to the traditional liturgy as the Gregorian Rite, or the Gregorian Mass, in deference to the ancient sacramentary bearing the name of that sixth century saint; a pope and liturgy which preceded Trent by one thousand years.
As liturgical discussions move forward within the Church, and both forms of the Roman Rite are studied and considered, let us hope that (at a minimum) we can finally bust the myth that the Traditional Mass is a product of the 16th century. If we are truly to restore all that has been lost for so many, we must first begin with correct information and intellectual honesty.
Above Image: Mass of Saint Gregory the Great by Master of Portillo (1520-1525).

33 comments:

John Nolan said...

The Dominican Use precedes Trent by 300 years, but no-one attending it can fail to recognize that it is the Roman Rite. Ditto with Sarum, despite the fact that there are no genuflexions.

Recusant Catholics in England might have been brought up with Sarum, and the 'massing-priests' left over from Mary's reign would have celebrated in this rite; but the missionary priests of the 1580s would have celebrated the so-called Tridentine Rite. No-one doubted its authenticity.

However, had they been exposed to the Novus Ordo as it is usually performed these days (including the vernacular) they would not have recognized it as the Mass, and would hardly have endured rack and rope to defend it.

The greatest myth, trotted out on this blog by Fr Kavanaugh at regular intervals, is that the Roman Rite has been changed 'time and time again' so the changes of 1964-1970 are in line with tradition. This is quite simply untrue.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh lies all the time. Nothing to see here.

Joseph Johnson said...

This is an article that a lot of priests need to read. I have had a number of priests over the years insist that the EF is a product of the Council of Trent.

Also, on another subject, I have been a K of C 4th Degree color corps member for many years. I was absolutely SHOCKED to see that the K of C has decided to change the color corps uniform to a blue blazer with emblem, long tie, and (ughhh!) a black beret. The old-fashioned naval officer's "chapeau" and the sword are the two LAST items of regalia I would part with! If there is not some allowance for a continuance of the traditional regalia, I may resign the color corps! NO to the berets! I think the U.S. Army should shed them as well (except for the green beret units) in favor of peaked caps.

Joseph Johnson said...

A Novus Ordo K of C uniform for a Novus Ordo Church . . .

Joseph Johnson said...

Knights of Columbus who love the EF should join the Knights of Columbus Traditional Latin Mass Association. The have a website with an online application. It is also interesting to see the difference in color corps practice for the EF and the OF, which their site shows both in video and in a chart form.

ByzRC said...

Interesting, only one rupture, not two. Other than blogs, this will never be acknowledged or, addressed except that perhaps H.H. will 'suggest' that some year, the VII docs should be reread and actually implemented as intended. It is great that we have monuments to this rupture like the $102 million cathedral in L.A. and the $4.5 million renovation in Milwaukee among many, many others.

Joseph Johnson - This obsession with dumbing things down knows no bounds. The new uniform looks like something you'd wear in the National Honor Society, not the Knights of Columbus Color Corps. Except for the Beret and the swords if retained, the Corps will now not look much different from the Church Ushers that still wear coordinated jackets/trousers.

To build on what you said, the attached article reads like 1969 all over again. Right off the block, their version of the Novus Ordo Comes with an Indult to retain the traditional uniform on a limited basis:
http://www.catholicsun.org/2017/08/02/knights-of-columbus-change-fourth-degree-uniforms/

Joseph Johnson said...

ByzRC,
If you're of a certain age like me, you may remember that in 1972 (I was 11 then) the Boy Scouts of America dumbed down their handbook and uniforms---'even added a silly red beret as the preferred optional headgear for the uniform. Needless to say, I stuck with their oldest headgear (still allowed)--the broad-brimmed campaign hat and, sometimes, the WWII era flat "overseas" cap. This K of C thing is like the Swiss Guards abandoning their Spanish style morion helmets and halberds---to abandon something so iconic is unimaginable!!

Dialogue said...

They "would hardly have endured rack and rope to defend it". Important point made by John Nolan. A sacrificial rite that is clearly a participation in a divine action and ritually overlain with millennia of cultural touches indicating the full, conscious and active participation of previous generations of missionaries and martyrs, is well worth defending. Our Modern middle-class jumble of Western self-esteem and self-congratulation obscures the Sacrifice and forgets the continuous generational participation in it, and so the rite becomes fleeting and unworthy of trouble.

Dialogue said...

By the way, I don;t understand all the fuss about the new Black Panthers of Columbus uniform. I like it.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

If the Rite has been changed numerous times, then the Rite has been changed time and time again.

Additions, deletions, repositionings, are changes.

The assertion that the Roman Rite has not been changed time and time again is false.

rcg said...

Joseph Johnson, thanks for that pointer to KofC Traditional site. As far as the berets: I thought that went by the wayside pretty quick last year. Our Corp uses the traditional chapeau and cape for our processions.

John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh

We have been here before. What is remarkable about the Roman Rite is its continuity from the time of Gregory the Great until the 1960s. The Use of Sarum was replaced in the 16th century by a new Protestant rite which may have incorporated elements of Sarum (the lectionary, for example) but was in no sense the Roman Rite. Cranmer did not argue that his Prayer Book reflected the fact that Sarum had been changed 'time and time again' in the centuries which preceded the Reformation, since he knew that this was not the case, and in any event he wanted a new departure.

Are you arguing that the distinguishing feature of the Roman Rite is that it was constantly being altered? This is not only demonstrably untrue, but perverse. We happen to know quite a lot about the development of the Roman liturgy in the last millennium and a half.

By all means defend the Novus Ordo; explain why in your opinion it is superior to the Roman Rite which it purported to replace; emphasize its continuity with liturgical tradition - but if its defence relies on palpable falsehoods it's probably not worth defending.

If you decline to give a straight answer to the question I posed at the beginning of my second paragraph and indulge in your usual semantic logic-chopping, it will not convince those who read this blog of your intellectual honesty.

Joseph Johnson said...

Dialogue,
ROFL! Or, the Guardian Angels of Columbus uniform . .

Joseph Johnson said...

rcg,
The article in question about the change can be found on Rorate Caeli and on Fr. Z.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - I never said or suggested that the Roman Rite was "constantly being altered."

Never. Not once.

Those are words you have chosen in order to turn my argument into something it is not.

Argue, if you wish, against what I have said, not what you think I have said or what you want me to have said: "If the Rite has been changed numerous times, then the Rite has been changed time and time again. Additions, deletions, repositionings, are changes."



John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh

What is the substantive difference between 'the [Roman] Rite has been changed time and time again' and 'the Roman Rite was constantly being altered'?

'Time and time again' (I used the expression regarding the pre-Reformation Use of Sarum, and had no wish to repeat myself) does not mean 'from time to time' - or perhaps you think it does?

So I am indeed arguing against what you have said, and so is Fortescue. Something that is changed 'time and time again' cannot possess any stability. Someone who changes his mind 'time and time again' cannot be trusted.

JRR Tolkien, an acute critic of the 1960s changes, likened the liturgy to a tree; over a long period of time its roots go deeper and its foliage becomes more luxuriant. There may be those who prefer the sapling to the tree - but cutting down the tree does not recover the sapling.

To take the analogy further, a tree may sometimes require the attentions of a skilled tree-surgeon. By the beginning of the 20th century the large number of saints' days which displaced the normal Sundays was having an adverse effect on the Proper of the season. This situation was addressed and quietly rectified. It did not generate much controversy. At about the same time the Requiem Mass was given its own Preface. Such changes did not affect the integrity or stability of the Rite.

What happened in the second half of the 20th century was a different matter. The Ordinary of the Mass, the unchanging part that emphasizes stability and continuity, was radically and arbitrarily changed.






rcg said...

Joseph Johnson, I just saw my email in today's read list showing me the new uniforms. I will need to learn to play the concertina for the processions.

Joseph Johnson said...

If the K of C wanted to "modernize" the 4th degree headgear, a better choice (to my notion) would have been a modern (WWII style) naval officer's peaked cap with 4th degree emblem on front. The regular members could wear plain ones (like a U.S. Navy chief petty officer) and the commander could wear one with gold braid strap and gold embellishments on the bill ("scrambled eggs" as they call it). The swords need to stay.

rcg said...

My wife is nonplussed about the KofC uniform change and wants the sword to stay as well. The letter from the Grand Knight says the chapeau was an obstacle to new membership. I think I still have my old beret from the Air Force. I might use that one.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

That the Roman Rite has been changed time and time again is a fact.

I'm not going to argue whether "time and time again" means the same things as "constantly" because you and I know it does not.

The stability that is retained in the Roman Rite even as it is changed time and time again is the faith it contains and expresses. Maybe you hold that the NO does not contain and express the Faith authentically. I maintain it does.



Joseph Johnson said...

rcg,
The chapeau "an obstacle to new membership"? I don't get where they're coming from, I guess (maybe I love getting the chance to wear hats that look like historical costume?). I'll admit, they could cut back on the volume of the feather trim (which, I think, tends to dominate the hat itself). If you look up Patey Hats (which is in the UK--they make ceremonial hats and formal hats) they have a very nice naval style chapeau which might be a basis for a re-design--the feathers don't dominate. If they force the beret on us, while I will remain a 4th degree member, I will resign from the color corps (berets are that objectionable to me!).

John Nolan said...

Fr Kavanaugh

If you don't like 'constantly' as a synonym for 'time and time again', let's try 'repeatedly'.

'The Roman Rite has been repeatedly changed'. Doesn't sound any more convincing. Also 'has been changed' as opposed to 'has changed' suggests an outside agent, which makes the contention even more dubious.

The NO is quite capable of expressing the Faith authentically. In fact I shall be attending one tomorrow although I could choose to attend an EF Low Mass somewhat nearer home. It's just that given the choice, I prefer a Solemn Mass, especially on such an important feast.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

It is a fact that the Roman Rite has been changed (choose one of the following) 1) time and time again, 2) repeatedly.

Both are true.

Since the liturgy cannot change itself, the involvement of an outside agent is required.

John Nolan said...

Fr K

What outside agent, and when? At least before the 20th century ...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Popes, Cardinals, Archbishops, bishops, Monsignors, Abbots, Fathers General, Priests, Theologians, etc etc etc

John Nolan said...

Fr K

You failed to mention secular rulers, for example Joseph II of Austria, an arch-meddler. The synod of Pistoia in the same decade (1780s) also proposed significant changes to the Roman Rite.

None of these 'reforms' lasted very long (although it can be argued that the Pistoian agenda was to a large extent resurrected and indeed implemented in the 1960s). Firstly they were unpopular, and secondly popes saw their role as preserving liturgical tradition, not subverting or changing it.

Can you furnish an example of (say) a medieval bishop changing the liturgy in his diocese? Or a pope or council ruling on liturgical practice before the 16th century?

TJM said...

John Nolan,

Father Kavanaugh is burning the midnight oil preparing his evidence for you!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Popes, Cardinals, Archbishops, bishops, Monsignors, Abbots, Fathers General, Priests, Theologians, etc etc etc" were involved in making changes to the liturgy over the centuries.

They did not do it, necessarily, on their own, but worked on committees and other advisory bodies. Through the work of "Popes, Cardinals, Archbishops, bishops, Monsignors, Abbots, Fathers General, Priests, Theologians, etc etc etc" the changes that were made in the liturgy through the centuries came to be approved, in most cases, by the highest authority.

TJM said...

Father Kavanaugh,

Your statement is opinion, not fact. Name names, years, documents.

John Nolan said...

The idea of committees and advisory bodies making changes in the liturgy is a modern one. The Roman Rite as it has come down to us is unchanged in its essentials since the time of Gregory the Great - Fortescue could safely say that an early 20th century Latin Catholic, if transported to early 7th century Rome, while missing some features to which he was accustomed, would find himself quite at home with the service he saw there.

Over the next few centuries, this Rite was adopted throughout most of the West, and although it supplanted the Gallican liturgies, it also adopted Gallican elements. Gregorian chant as we know it is a fusion of Gallican and Old Roman chant. This is cross-fertilization and development, not change in the pro-active sense.

There were many local variants. A good example of a pre-Tridentine Use which can still be encountered is the Dominican one, adopted by the Order in the 13th century. In late medieval England there were different Uses (Sarum, York, Hereford, Durham) although the Franciscans used the Roman books. St Francis would have found Mass according to the 1962 Missal quite familiar.



TJM said...

John Nolan,

Our friend, Father Kavanaugh, must not be up to the challenge of finding evidence to support his high flown opinions.

John Nolan said...

Individuals, whether working individually or on committees, were not responsible for the development of the Roman Rite from the time of Gregory the Great (d.604) until the 16th century. Apart from anything else, the liturgy was seen as a 'given' which was not subject to arbitrary change. There was no Sacred Congregation of Rites until 1588, and its role was seen as a watchdog preventing unauthorized change, not promoting it.

That is why I question Fr K's assumption that the Roman Rite was changed repeatedly, which he advances as justifying its abolition and replacement by a new rite in the 1960s.

John Nolan said...

Pope Gregory the Great is credited with putting the finishing touches to the Roman Canon and inserting the Pater Noster after it. There were a lot of changes up to that time, but evidence is scanty. However, if one is looking for a more or less definitive Roman Rite, Gregory's reign is a useful starting point. Compared with Eastern Rites (or the present Roman Rite) it was fairly austere, partly due to the fact that Latin is more terse than Greek and elements deemed superfluous tended to be discarded. There is no evidence that any pope after Gregory changed the liturgy on his own initiative.

In the millennium which separated St Gregory from the Council of Trent there were many additions, but it is anachronistic to suppose these were adopted after careful consideration by committees of 'experts'. The Nicene Creed is an example. It appears to have spread from Constantinople to the Frankish Church before it was used in Rome, where it doesn't appear until the tenth century.

The inclusion in Missals of Proper texts which would normally be sung, and private prayers said by the priest (e.g. at the Offertory) is a second millennium development due to an increasing demand for private (Low) Masses. That the priest at a Solemn Mass should read those parts which are sung by others might appear superfluous, but it was not deliberately adopted as a 'change' - it just happened.